Harding University to present “The King Stag”

Harding University’s theatre department will perform “The King Stag” at 7 p.m. Thursday, Feb. 18, through Saturday, Feb. 20, in the Ulrey Performing Arts Center.

“The King Stag” is a comedic love story set in the 1700s. King Deramo, played by junior Patrick Jones, is searching for his bride by interviewing women across the kingdom. King Deramo uses a set of magical skills to seek out an honest woman to marry. After interviewing 2,748 women, he is certain he has found an honest woman to marry.

“The work was originally performed by Commedia dell’arte troupes in Italy during the 16th century,” said senior Brandtly Wheeler. “These were performers who traveled the countryside and performed improvised stories while wearing masks. Traditionally, each performer wore a specific mask, which represented specific character types who would turn up in every story."

Wheeler, playing the role of Pantalone, said the cast translated the script from Italian to English, allowing them to create their own version of the play. Senior Duncan Michael plays the role of Truffaldino, a bird catcher. Michael’s role also allows him a range of improvisation.

“My role is very physical, which is a lot of fun to play around with,” Michael said. “Since the play is from the 1700s, I get to improv a lot of my scenes, which is also a lot of fun.”

The cast includes several Harding theatre veterans and a few new theatre students. Admission to the play is $10. Tickets can be purchased at hardingtickets.com. For more information, contact the department of theatre at 501.279.5315.